Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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Hotels must do better on access, says Harin

HARIN ELLIS is campaigning to get better facilities and services at hotels for disabled visitors. Here’s his story . . .

I was born in Thailand 27 weeks prematurely and weighing just 1lb.

All the professionals told my parents I would not survive. I wasn’t put on an incubator; I wasn’t given a chance.

Despite the odds, with my fighting spirit and my determination, I have proved everyone wrong by living my life to the fullest.

Now aged 22, I don’t let cerebral palsy stop me from being who I am, and who I want to be.

I am very adventurous and love to attend concerts and shows around the UK. As a result of watching Britain’s Got Talent in 2020, I came across the Sign Along With Us Foundation.

They are made up of many talented and inspirational individuals who perform songs with sign language, which have powerful messages encouraging others to fight for inclusion, and raise funds for fully accessible and adaptive caravans.

I have enjoyed almost 100 concerts and shows over the years and it doesn’t stop there. I intend to continue booking trips and adventures, as much as possible.

But, as a full-time wheelchair user who needs a profiling bed and a hoist for transfers, finding somewhere to stay overnight is extremely difficult.

The extra price tag that’s added when someone hears the word “disability” is another issue that needs sorting.

IN March 2022, I launched my fully accessible hotels/ holiday accommodation petition.

Reading messages from families, who also struggle to find suitable accommodation for loved ones and miss out on enjoying holidays, has made me realise that so many things in this world are not as they should be.

Throughout my journey of being an active campaigner for disability and fighting for inclusion, I have faced negativity from people who said I would never succeed.

But this has only inspired me more and more to continue the fight and be a voice for other people with complex needs.

Last summer, my campaigning led me to be nominated for the Sparkle Awards, which mark the achievements of young people in Liverpool.

I won the most inspiring male category after being nominated by the Merseyside Youth Association.

I hope my story encourages and inspires others to follow their dreams and not allow negative feedback to stop them from achieving their goals.

Stay positive. Together we will make a change! Together we will fight for inclusion! Together we will win!

https://chng.it/djH9RpN22z

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